At a town hall meeting in Clackamas County Oregon on January 3, 2014, I asked Senator Ron Wyden a simple question and he didn’t provide an answer, which suggests that he was avoiding telling the truth, meaning he lied to his audience, or he finally became a senator for the people of Oregon on economic matters. Don’t get your hopes up since actions speak louder than words, and he is a politician.
My question was, “We know from leaked documents that the free trade treaty known as the Trans Pacific Partnership will grant investors special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety laws and regulations on the state and local levels, which will effectively eliminate our voting rights for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and outsource more American jobs. Why are you trying to use something called Smart Track to push this through the senate?”
Wyden immediately talked about enforcing the rules of trade treaties already in existence, and it seemed as though he was going to avoid answering my question forever, and he did. He moved on to transparency. At one point, referring to secret negotiations of trade treaties he said “Folks, those days are over when the congress votes on a trade proposal and people in town hall meetings are in the dark. I’ll tell you point blank. Those days are over! I’m going to make sure the American people are brought into this debate in an unprecedented fashion.”
We’ll see. What Wyden didn’t mention is that he is pushing a proposal called Smart Track, which he didn’t explain, thereby keeping everybody in that town hall meeting in the dark, which is precisely what he said he wasn’t going to do. He also didn’t answer the question at all about why he was using Smart Track to push the Trans Pacific Partnership through the senate. The fact that he danced around the issue suggests he’s still a senator doing the bidding of Wall Street and large, politically, powerful corporations; meaning he’s still a senator of the 1 percent on issues pertaining to redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.
I’ve called him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden almost since the day I began this blog. That’s because on bread and butter issues he always seems to side with the 1 percent via legislation that redistributes the bread and butter of the 99 percent to the 1 percent, such as free trade treaties.
These treaties can easily be negotiated to benefit everyone involved, by such things as having the negotiators develop common labor standards, such as work rules, environmental rules, minimum wages, health and safety standards, as well as developing common and enforceable regulations of financial markets and financial market transactions, but that doesn’t happen. That’s because the purpose of any free trade agreement is to increase corporate profits, not by expanding markets (although that is a coincidental side effect), but by lowering wages.
As the senator knows, the Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s all about changing the rules and laws of nations to benefit the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. It’s a massive, highly secretive income redistribution scam, and there is little doubt, the senator knows this. More than anything, knowing he knows this can cause one to speculate that he evaded the answer to my question above, and that he lied, because he intends to keep pushing this nightmare trade proposal for the 99 percent through the senate, and he’ll continue to evade questions on this issue with his usual talking points.
If the senator was really serious about transparency, and really serious about keeping the voters of Oregon in the loop in “an unprecedented fashion,” then he’d have ten to twenty-five town hall meetings, and the only subject would be on this massive scam called a trade treaty. He’d also make certain the major players of the corporate press were there, and honestly reporting on this issue (which the major state newspaper the Oregonian is unlikely to do), and he’d open the meeting by saying something like this,
“My fellow Oregonians, you have elected me to represent you, and so you should know what’s going to happen if the Trans Pacific Partnership, often known as TPP, becomes law. It’s going to change your lives forever, as well as increase the massive income inequality we already have. We know from leaked documents that the TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state levels for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and possibly result in the outsourcing of millions of American jobs. It may also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive hundreds of thousands if not millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. The TPP will cause the trade deficit to increase as more jobs are outsourced, and the products formerly made here will be made over there, and then shipped back here, and this outsourcing will cause a shortage of tax dollars for your schools, fire, police, roads and other public safety nets and infrastructure. What do you folks think about that?”
Until he does something like this, I’ll call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, because until then, his loyalties are clearly with Wall Street and large corporations owned by the 1 percent.
Of course, the senator says that such a thing as the Trans Pacific Partnership doesn’t exist, although it’s almost completely negotiated and President Obama wants to ram it through congress in January.
So, based on what I saw at the town forum, the senator is still going to help the president and the rest of the 0.01 percent ram the treaty through congress with the least amount of public scrutiny possible, because as US Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “From what I hear, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig the Trans Pacific Partnership in the upcoming trade talks. So the question is why are the trade talks secret? I have actually had supporters of the deal say to me “They have to be secret, because if the American people knew what was actually in them they’d be opposed.”
P.S. There is an economic hurricane coming, three or four years down the road at the most, maybe sooner, which will make the last recession look like the good old days, and Wyden’s votes to redistribute income from the 99 tot he 1 percent have played a large role in creating the coming disaster.
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